Match Preview

Physicality Index Insights: Day 2 In Jeddah

Four matches on schedule
November 29, 2023
Abdullah Shelbayh plays Alex Michelsen in Jeddah on Wednesday.
Peter Staples/ATP Tour
Abdullah Shelbayh plays Alex Michelsen in Jeddah on Wednesday. By Geoff Russell

The ATP and Tennis Data Innovations (TDI) will deliver unprecedented insights at the 2023 Next Gen ATP Finals presented by NEOM. Using state-of-the-art tracking metrics, the insights will assess the physical capacity required to compete at the highest professional level of our sport.

Read more to learn about Wednesday's matchups in Jeddah.

Dominic Stricker vs. Luca Nardi

Day Day two of the Next Gen ATP Finals presented by NEOM kicks off with Dominic Stricker facing Luca Nardi. These two players have contrasting gamestyles and physical performance profiles. Stricker has the lowest distance and workload per minute of any athlete in the Next Gen ATP Finals. Luca Nardi’s style of play is going to be geared more towards slightly higher intensities, using his speed to get him out of trouble. As you compare yesterday’s output from both their matches, Nardi performed almost 40% more explosive movements than Stricker.

Keys to the Match
Can Nardi push Stricker off the baseline and force Stricker to perform a distance above his season average of 1.4 kilometers. Or can Stricker take control of the point early in the rally, forcing Nardi into performing a higher ratio of high speed distance compared to his overall distance (12%).

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Arthur Fills vs. Flavio Cobolli

In tennis, the best players start out each match looking to execute their tactical gameplan on their terms. Wednesday will be no different when Arthur Fils takes on Flavio Cobolli. Fils will look to come out and play his aggressive baseline game, dictating with the serve and the forehand, trying to keep his high speed distance and explosive movements to a minimum. Cobolli, is a solid baseliner, who uses his legs as an advantage, is going to try and turn this into a match of movement, as he is very comfortable defending for extended periods of time. Cobolli covers the most distance per minute out of all the Next Gen ATP Finals competitors.

Keys to the Match
Can Cobolli push the Physicality Index (PI) of Fils above an 8.5, by making him perform a high percentage of explosive movements in and out of the corners. Fils would like to see low PI numbers, by playing more deep through the middle of Cobolli, limiting Cobolli’s movement early in the point, and then looking to finish to the outside third of the court.

Luca Van Assche vs. Hamad Medjedovic

Luca Van Assche has proven this year that he can recover after multiple high volume and intensity matches. In yesterday’s first-round match, Van Assche had the highest Physical Index Rating, reaching a 9 against Abdullah Shelbayh in four sets. He will be playing an opponent, Hamad Medjedovic, who also played a very long five-set match that saw him begin to cramp late in the fifth. Both of these matches had 27 minutes of active ball striking, but their physical outputs looked extremely different. Van Asshe covered 23% more distance, worked 25% harder, covered 70% more high speed distance, and had 43% more explosive movements, which led to a 17% higher Physical Index.

Keys to the Match
Van Assche is known to be able to handle high volume and intensity matches, and recover quickly. Can Van Assche come out early in the match, use his high speeds and explosive movement to make Medjedovic play one more shot, forcing Medjedovic into a workload of over 33 units per active minute of match time.

Abdullah Shelbayh vs. Alex Mickelson

Many people think that time on court is all the same. Comparing the first round matches of Abdullah Shelbayh and Alex Mickelson, they both had the same amount of active time on court. Shelbayh worked much harder in the same amount of active time, having a workload that was 10% higher than Mickelson. That means Shelbayh put 10% more work on his legs over the course of his match than Mickelson. The one thing we don’t have any way of measuring is how the late finish will affect Mickelson’s recovery. The hard match and late finish could mean trouble for most athletes the next day.

Keys to the Match
The player who can manage their energy early on in the match, and get their opponent off balance by making them change direction with high intensity explosive movements, will have the upper hand. The player who has the fewest explosive movements should win this match.

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